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First time diary here. Forgive my inability to stay focused.

I have a full-time job but suffer from a deficiency in enough income to pay for daycare.  So I also have part time job in telemarketing. I work 64 hours a week in total. In my telemarketing job I am very anal in keeping statistics, so I have about 8 months worth of records. Not only will I make some attempt to provide a little insight into polling, but I can also give some handy tips with telemarketers. More below the pig in the blanket.

Not going to get into TOO much detail about my telemarketing job. I'll just say that it's 5 days a week and about 5 hours a day.  I DO NOT make sales, I "make appointments".

Calls are when my computer calls a number and it's picked up. This includes people that accept my offer, reject the offer, answering machines and people that want me to call back another time.  So one day I could make 300 phone calls and only make 30 contacts. The people that I get to accept my offers are converts or registrations.  If I convert 10 out of those 30 contacts, that is 33% conversion rate.  That's the basics.

Each week I call a different area. I don't call all over the country. Typically we call ares around metros. Usually staying within 30 or 40 miles of the city.  Montana and Idaho covers a LOT of ground.  We call cell phones as well as landlines.

The record

Areas are highlighted by color according to their state.

This ended up being a lot more similar than I thought it would be.  It's easier to make contacts in a swing state by quite a bit. Blue states are the hardest to make a contact in.  But blue states are also the easiest to convert while red states are the most difficult.  I would say that for a pollster to call way more red states than blue states consistently, that may not be an accident.

I don't know if it's easier for a pollster to make contacts than it is for me. I do know that I have had quite a few people ask me angrily if this call was political. These were usually swing states.  I have never ever had a person profess their liberalness. Part of my pitch is an "as seen on tv" type thing where I mention CBS, CNN and ABC.  I have had more than a few people say they don't watch "that liberal crap". I have had one guy say he's too broke because of Obama. And I had one lady say that all she's concentrating on is getting Romney elected (this lady was in the St Louis area).

///////
Now some tips (I posted much of this elsewhere previously):
Simply adding your phone number to the do not call registry will not make the system work.  When somebody violates this you need to report them with as much detail as you can provide on the website.  

How does your info get out there? Do you have a magazine subscription? Boom. They sold your info. Credit card?  Boom. They sold you out on top of increasing your interest. Make a contribution to Newt Gingrich's campaign? Uh oh! Etc...The most valuable asset to facebook is your info.  They will eventually sell it.  Their stock has been a bust and it's just too much money for them not to profit.  They already get in trouble every few months for screwing with your privacy settings.  

Have you ever filled out a survey for free stuff?  You probably clicked somewhere on the survey giving guys like me permission to call you, regardless of the DO NOT CALL list.  Sorry guys.  This is hard, I know.  I have (and I have no stake in this company) an app on my phone called Mr Number. Check it out. I love it.  Of course I wouldn't be surprised if they sold my info either :)

It is my  company's policy to put the contact on our internal DO NOT CALL list if requested.  It is also policy to put them on the "not interested" list if requested. This would keeps calls away until the next time we get to your area (usually once every 8 months). Most of us at my company are really cool people and polite, and honor your wishes. I do know that there are other companies where callers are jerks and rude. I was once called a "Dick" and a "faggot" by an outbound caller on my home phone.  Won't get into that call at this time though unless asked about it.  
We are told to ATS, or Assume The Sale.  Simply hanging up will likely result in a phone call the next day.  We will think you dropped the call on a cell phone.  
Say not interested at least twice.  I actually typically get at least 1 registration a day off of somebody that told me "not interested" once.  Remember that I am assuming the sale and I HAVE to try a rebuttal.  After two "no's" though, most of us will politely thank you for your  time and put you down as not interested.  If you request to be put on our internal DO NOT CALL list, again be polite. We will put you on the list, and supposedly it will not call you for at least a year. I know that "no means no" but expect rebuttals.  Other people may try and try and try, but after 2 "no"s I thank you and hang up.

Do not be rude.  These are people typically working for not THAT MUCH money (no benefits either) trying to get their 20% goal. And if you are a jerk to them, they will protect their conversion rate and put it down as a "call back tomorrow".  Call backs do not count against conversion rates.  I have had a guy threaten to slit my throat and drink my blood I put him down as a call back tomorrow. I had another lady tell me to get a real job and then hang up. That was a call back tomorrow, after all they never said they weren't interested.

Some easy tips:
1) Like I said, politely say you are not interested, listen to rebuttal and then say, "I am sorry but I am not interested, please add me to your internal DO NOT CALL list"
2) Do not just hang up. I assume it's a dropped call.
3) If answering for spouse or other person that is not home don't say that they would not be interested. After all,l we got their information, they have to have been interested, right? Usually we will call back in a day or so in a different time of day in hopes of getting in contact with correct person. Try this instead, "He is out of town on business and will not be back for few months." This gives the caller the option of setting a call back for a later day (not that likely) or setting an "Out of Area" option (more likely).  You are lying here but it may help stop the call AND it gives the caller an option to preserve the conversion rate. Win/win.
4) If it's the wrong number and you have been getting calls for "Betty" for years, don't explode and get pissy with caller. We have old information. Just say that it's the wrong number.

Surprisingly, I may only get 2 phone calls a day where the contact is rude and pissy with me.  

Now if only that company that wants to put home security signs in my yard would stop calling me...

Originally posted to gossamer1234 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 07:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I route my calls through google voice, and (6+ / 0-)

    google voice provides an option to block telespammers, called Global Spam Filtering.  When activated it sends calls and text messages from numbers identified as spam by Google directly to the Spam folder.  For far too long the telemarketers have had technology on their side.  Now it's our turn.

  •  I'm in arts tm (8+ / 0-)

    I'm amazed that polling firms can get samples of 2000 to 3000 in such a short period of time. In addition, how can they get so many completed surveys? As you know it can be tough enough just to get someone on the phone - let alone get someone who wants to spend 20 minutes to half an hour completing a polling survey.  I think they keep lists of people who like to answer surveys aka "good leads." these polls aren't accurate representations of where these races are, they are accurate representations of what people who like to take surveys are at.

    "Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world....In it all of nature finds a voice." Gustav Mahler on his 3rd Symphony

    by Mahler3 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:46:10 PM PDT

    •  right (8+ / 0-)

      Most of these polls are robo right? It's easier to hang up on a recording than a person. When I talk to a person that I am registering and its obvious they are frustrated, I get my required points in for QA and rush through asap so I don't lose them. a quick call for me is 3 minutes, an average call is 5. Don't think pollsters can rush and alter script like I can.

      •  In the case of pollsters (0+ / 0-)

        who are paid by a specific client to do a poll - money has to be a concern. That's why I think they have lists of people who pick up the phone and will stay on along to finish a survey. The less no answers, hang ups, and imcomplete surveys the higher the cost for the pollster. they're in it for the money. different firms may even trade respondents to help keep cost down. I mean you can just generate a random sample and expect to get the same amount of completes each time.  It's too risky.

        "Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world....In it all of nature finds a voice." Gustav Mahler on his 3rd Symphony

        by Mahler3 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:42:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends on what the client wants (0+ / 0-)

          and is willing to pay for. I used to work for a marketing research company that did surveys, some of them political. The boss lady was always complaining about the company they bought the sample from. The numbers were supposed to be screened so we only got home phone numbers, but lots of the times we would get disconnects, businesses, and all kinds of weird stuff. Or people who would get irate because their number was unlisted. And we would pretend we dialed totally randomly.

          Sometimes we would ask if respondents were okay with us calling them again to do more surveys. If they said yes, we might call them much later to ask them to do a focus group. When we did, most of the data we had was years out of date. But probably companies that don't have their heads up their ass are able to do better.

      •  SOme are robo others are live voice interview n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world....In it all of nature finds a voice." Gustav Mahler on his 3rd Symphony

        by Mahler3 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 09:06:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Respondents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, Justus

      I have a little insight from both sides. One of my first jobs, about 35 years ago, was conducting government phone surveys. These were informational, not commercial, although I don't remember any of the subject matter anymore. Of course, the technology was different then, but phone numbers were just dialed consecutively--555-1111, 555-1112, etc.--so some weren't valid and we'd get people who were upset we'd called their unlisted numbers: "How did you get this number?!?"

      I'd say only about 2 people out of every 10 who answered would agree to do the survey. Out of those, some would stop partway through and say it was taking too long and hang up. We couldn't use their responses at all if that happened. Others started off seeming cooperative but then partway through I'd realize they were amusing themselves by giving bogus answers. So it was difficult to get complete, valid surveys, maybe only 1 out of 10.

      On the other side of it, once Neilsen called me to do a survey about TV shows, and I thought it would be kind of fun to be part of the famous Neilsen Ratings, so I agreed to answer their questions. It took a looooong time, and I got tired of it about 2/3 of the way through, but I finished it so it wouldn't ruin the survey for the caller. After that, Neilsen kept calling me several times a year for the next few years. So they definitely keep a list of "good leads." After that first long call, I didn't answer the phone for them anymore, and they eventually gave up.

  •  I mostly get robocalls now, including that guy (3+ / 0-)

    who wants to put a home security sign in my non-existant yard.

  •  I tried, but (9+ / 0-)

    One time when "Rachel from Card Services" called, I waited through the recorded spiel, pushed 1 for more information, and told the person who answered to "put this number on your Do Not Call list."  He hung up on me.

    I guess that if a person is calling, I'll tell them to put me on the Do Not Call list, and if it is merely a recording, I'll just hang up.

    While I do sympathize with gossamer's situation, please continue looking until you find a job where the customers appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

    •  the part time job (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, dejavu

      Works perfect with my full time job. And any nasty calls are not taken personal, they don't know me.

      obviously there are shady people and companies out there. But like negative campaign ads, telemarketing works. I register men and women, young old and middle aged, different nationalities, all sorts of people.

      If somebody is gonna keep calling you in spite of saying , then that person is a jerk. Maybe get an app for your phone.

    •  I hate the "Card Services" calls (10+ / 0-)

      Of course they are lying. Just ask which card they are calling about!  And they spoof their number- it has never been a real number.  I complained to AT&T wireless about these calls. Said they couldn't do anything about it. Right! I'm sure Homeland Security could track that call back if they needed to.  But since AT&T sell MINUTES, they don't care- it's more money for them.

      I usually ask them to hold on so I can get my wallet. I check back in a minute or two, and they've usually left by then.

      In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

      by TampaCPA on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 10:28:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        I have been getting those calls for years. They have no idea whether you have a credit card or not, and they don't even transfer your number to the human with the call. So they can't remove you. Not that they're going to.

      •  It's difficult to track a spoofed call (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        The "card services" calls are a complete scam; they're trying to get you to reveal your credit card number... after which, who knows what evil stuff will happen?

        They're calling every number they can find; they don't use the Do Not Call registry. The entire thing is illegal.

        Unfortunately, they're using an Internet call service so it costs them almost nothing to make millions of calls. It's also difficult to trace, because the number their Internet call service announces to the phone system is a fake number. With some effort, the phone companies can track back to the Internet call service's gateway into the telephone system, and then it'll take lawyers and more effort to penetrate the call service's gateway and try to figure out who made the actual calls.

        The Federal Trade Commission has been battling this for years; its a difficult technical problem because of that gateway. They are now offering a $50,000 cash reward for technical solution ideas. (See http://www.challenge.gov/... )

    •  When I get those card services calls (0+ / 0-)

      "to lower your interest rate!" - I press "1" to speak to a live operator, and I keep my finger on the "1" key for 60-90 seconds. Sometimes I do it with the "2" key to "remove your number from our calling list."

      Am I correct in thinking that this runs up the phone bill of the robocallers?

      Note that Call Trace doesn't work for these guys.

  •  My first job was telemarketing (12+ / 0-)

    selling scientific equipment during a recession (1974). I was trained by AT&T and indoctrinated with motivational films by Vince Lombardi. I hated telephoning, but went on to really love football ;-)

    Now, when I get calls from telemarketers, I politely tell them:

    "I used to work as a telemarketer, so I know that your time is very valuable. I won't be purchasing your [product/service], but best of luck with you next call."
    Usually they disengage, but if they push back, I will hang up.

    My 87-year-old mom has a more straightforward strategy; she simply says:

    "I'm sorry, I don't do any business over the phone."

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 07:27:28 AM PDT

  •  but they could be casing my house (5+ / 0-)

    My problem with

    Try this instead, "He is out of town on business and will not be back for few months."
    is that when my husband is out of the country and I'm here in the house by myself, I don't want to tell this to a stranger! How do I know who this caller really is, or where he actually lives?

    I feel for telemarketing employees, truly I do. My first job out of high school was in telemarketing (I only lasted three days, because they wanted me to lie). I know how hard it is to find enough work to pay the bills. My daughter has a telephone sales job, which is an improvement over filling orders in an unheated warehouse. But it infuriates me that they won't get the message if I just hang up on them; that I have to tell them more than once not to call me; that they get rude and obnoxious if I refuse to put my (away on business) husband on the line. And don't get me going on the robocalls!

  •  Very interesting. Any advice for how to (7+ / 0-)

    get rid of Rachel from card services? I had the same experience as someone up thread. I held on long enough to get a human being, but I tried to tell him not to call again and he hung up without confirming. I still get those calls.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 07:33:28 AM PDT

    •  There is no way to be rid of Rachel (9+ / 0-)

      "Rachel" is calling from a spoofed number outside of the U.S. The Do Not Call law does not apply.
      "Rachel" changes this number about every 2 weeks.
      The first time "Rachel" calls from a new number, that number is added to my cell phone's contact list under "Account Services-Do Not Answer" so that I can ignore "Rachel" the next 4 times she tries to call.

    •  I too work phones on my second job (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, SuetheRedWA, Creosote

      But, thank God, they have to call ME.  It's a high end product and they want me to help them secure it.

      Most of the people are very nice (maybe because I'm dealing with personal assistants more often than the bosses?)

      But on my "own time" I simply do not answer phone numbers I don't know.   If it's from the town where my church is located, yes, I'll pick it up.  If it's a doctor or appt. reminder or most church members....they leave a voice mail.   If they don't leave voice mail, I presume they don't really need to talk to me.

      It works pretty well overall.  Just tell people you want to call to leave a message and you'll call back.   The others -- just delete the message.   After 25 or 30 calls, they'll get tired.

      I look at it this way.  Between my church job and phone job and unpaid babysitting job, I work 70-80 hours per week, 7 days, no weekends off.   My time not working belongs to me.  

      "Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened." -Terry Pratchett

      by revsue on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:38:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think I missed something--how do you define a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, illegal smile

    contact?  Is that when a live person answers?

    If the person hangs up as soon as you identify yourself, is that a contact?

    Thanks for interesting diary.

    "...it's difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

    by Mayfly on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 07:57:49 AM PDT

  •  Usually (12+ / 0-)

    if I don't know who is calling I just don't answer the phone.  If it's important, they'll call back.  Frankly there is nothing more likely to make me boycott your product or service than telemarketing.  It isn't that I think your product is crap or that I have no use for it -- though often one or both is true.  And it isn't that you assume going in that you're going to close me.  What triggers the resentment is that you assume that listening to you hawk whatever it is you're selling is way more important than anything I might be doing at that moment.  Whether you're actually making that assumption or not doesn't matter either.  From my end of the conversation, that's the perception, which trumps objective truth in every case.

    I figure the number of important life-changing opportunities I've passed up by not answering the phone is probably only a tiny fraction of the total calls I've received.  Approaching zero in fact.  The sad truth is, you have a better chance of selling me with email spam than telemarketing, and that chance is so small as to be insignificant.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:06:02 AM PDT

    •  yes (6+ / 0-)

      My landline is only for my home security. I don't answer it period. I usually don't answer unknown numbers on my cell phone. I know tons of people are like this. Would be interested in hearing from a person that works for a pollster talk about contact rates and what demos are particularly hostile to tallking through them. I know they supposedly weight for things like that. But those calls take longer and you don't get anything in the end, other than supporting your candidate. And im sure robo calls have a much lower contact rate.

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

    1) The do not call list does not work because it wasn't intended to;
    2) The do not call list does not work because telemarketing companies are scofflaws
    3) One cannot even file a complaint unless one has subscribed to caller I.D.

    4)

    1) Like I said, politely say you are not interested, listen to rebuttal and then say, "I am sorry but I am not interested, please add me to your internal DO NOT CALL list"
    Absolutely not. When I say I don't take such calls, you are not to rebut, but instead apologize for disturbing me and hang up. To continue talking ignores my express wishes, as does high speed blabbering so that I cannot interrupt. In both cases I will hang up because you are being impolite, obnoxious and an asshole.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:19:47 AM PDT

    •  I don't take these calls (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mskitty, kate mckinnon, Creosote

      "I was just going to let you know about..."

      "i am not interested"

      "okay, thank you"

      #I hang up#

      Good salesperson cannot take the first no and expect to keep their job. Salespeople are usually obnoxious, sure. But not usually an asshole, just doing their job.

      Regardless of whether or not the person is an asshole, merely hanging up probably will not work. Even if you are in the right. Don't have to take the tips, but they probably will be more helpful.

      •  If I expressly say I don't wish to talk to you and (3+ / 0-)

        you continue, you are being an asshole. If that's part of being a good salesman, so be it.

        FWIW, I think most sales and amrketing is non-value added. The product isn't improved.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 09:55:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If a female telemarketer (0+ / 0-)

        heavy breathing usually makes them hang up quickly - no words exchanged. Could be asthma .... or.........

        If they are calling for wife ... I tell them I am divorced and that B**ch doesn't live here anymore.

        If calling for me / male caller - the moron act usually turns them off. "M-O-O-N spells moon".

        If I'm bored I will "play" them - can make it fun thing to do on a rainy day.

        Of course the "turnaround" method is effective .... try to sell them something on their call. "Glad you called - I am selling sex toys that you may be interested in".

        Interestingly I don't get too many recalls .... must think I am not worth a callback.

        Who do you believe, Waffle Willard or Lyin' Ryan???

        by Da Rock on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 06:44:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If "NO" is not enough (9+ / 0-)

    Thank you very much for pointing out that two NO's will end some calls.  I try to be polite to people who are just doing a difficult job. But for the obnoxious one who won't give up...

    Stretch the conversation so the company wastes money, or a jerk on commission wastes time. As I said, I just do this for unusual cases, and I have one more trick for extreme cases, which I've only used once.

    One caller wouldn't give up, so I said, "Can you hold on while I ask my wife?" He said OK, so I set the phone down for 15 seconds, then said "You may have to wait awhile. I'm not married."

    He probably added my number to about five other lists out of spite, but it was worth it.

  •  About area codes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TampaCPA, bleeding blue, madhaus

    Do you actually know where the person lives when you call?

    I registered a number of people this cycle who have cell phones, but there area code is no longer where they live.

    Is this a problem for you?  If it is, what percentage?

    [If people are moving and not changing their number, this means it will be increasingly difficult to poll for specific races.  You can't be sure you are really polling the universe of all potential voters.]

    Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.

    by MoDem on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 09:58:41 AM PDT

    •  i see their phone number (0+ / 0-)

      including area code.  since I call one area for a whole week, typically I only see a handful of area codes.  we call based on area code, not zip code. i can see an address for a completely area come up from where our campaign is, but often times the address is out of date it's usually a negligible amount of people that I call that no longer live in the area code area. it does happen though, just not THAT much.

      I know some people personally that have kept their same cell phone number for 10+ years even though they have moved 3 or 4 times. it's a pain to change your number. obviously in the time of land lines you would have to change your phone number when you move out of area code, but cell phone users get connected to their phone numbers.

      •  The answer (0+ / 0-)

        So, with cell phones, everything is getting mixed up.

        The question is whether this is preventing one group from being represented in the possible number of people being sampled.  Because Democrats, especially the young are more mobile, I suspect it does and is one more factor in why Democrats are under-represented in the polling.

        Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.

        by MoDem on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 03:26:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I keep wondering when polling will fail. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otteray Scribe, revsue, murrayewv

    It isn't guaranteed as it is, and with changes in technology and culture happening so quickly, it is not beyond the realm of possibility they will miss one key factor that makes the poll fail.

    Land lines are going the way of the horse and buggy.  Even cell phone usage has changed. Messaging has taken over voice on cell phones, that's why the data plans are changing and unlimited voice is being thrown in.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but it is something to consider.

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 10:40:45 AM PDT

  •  I got rid of my land line. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, revsue

    I was paying about $60.00 per month.  CenturyLink would not let me just have a basic phone with caller ID, they want to sell a whole bundle of services I did not want or use.  Also, there was an extra charge for long distance.  Fixed rate per month, when it used to be by the minute. That meant that I had to pay an extra twenty dollars or so every month (on top of the $60 I was already paying) whether I made a long distance call or not.

    In the three months after my wife passed away, we got many dozens of calls, only three of which were from family or friends.  That means I was paying $60.00 per phone call.  

    Dropping the land line was a no-brainer.  

    I hate robocalls.  

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 11:01:02 AM PDT

    •  Since you got rid of CenturyLink, this won't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe

      matter, but I have their little package with caller ID and no long distance, along with my internet connection.  They told me that I would not be charged for long distance as long as I didn't make any such calls, but 1-800 numbers are fine.  I use a calling card purchased from the grocery store for the infrequent long distance calls that I do make.  That seems to make a big difference in what I pay.

      I'm like having a phone available that is not dependent on a tower or a cable from a cable company.  I long ago unplugged my bedroom phone and the ringer on the one in the kitchen is turned to low.

      And I hate robocalls, also.  The ones that end up in my voice mail really piss me off.

      •  Sounds interesting (0+ / 0-)

        But, my husband and I live out in the boonies.  Lots of phone calls are long-distance.  At least, Washington State made CenturyLink expand what areas of local, which saves a ton of money.

      •  curious what you pay (0+ / 0-)

        that's exactly what we have, for 63 a month.

        I'm waiting til after the election and if the calls don't stop we'll drop the land line. but my cell plan on family members's plan is another 45 and I just don't need both.

        I HATE calling century link to get a quote on internet connections only, since they are always trying to upsell.

  •  Press 3? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madgranny, murrayewv

    "Rachel" from "Card Services" says something to the effect that you can be removed from their list if you press 3.  I've pressed 3 on several occasions and still get calls from "Rachel." So why do they bother with this bogus claim?

    I worked for the Nader presidential campaign in 2000. I'm so sorry!

    by NYLefty on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 12:23:40 PM PDT

  •  Mr Number? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't find an app by this name. Is there a weird spelling or something? The closest I got was a soduku game.

  •  My phone is readily hand hand, so ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus, kate mckinnon, Creosote

    It seems more time/effective for me to hang up as soon as I detect a sale pitch beginning, even if I'm going to be called back day after day, than it is to listen politely and then say "no thank you" twice. I'm never rude to sales callers, but I have no time to waste on them. I am trying - with some success - to reduce my consumer wants, so I figure that even  persuasive sales pitches would be harmful, imperiling the planet by arousing new appetites for consumption. I'm not so worried about scams, but I am careful to say "speaking" instead of "yes" if I'm asked for by name, just in case my voice might be spliced into acceptance of an offer.
      I try to respond politely to political callers, even callers for the bad guys. I've been in their shoes.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 02:57:54 PM PDT

  •  I had to get abusive with a telemarketer once (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madgranny, Justus, Creosote

    Actually, with the people who called from a certain political group I bet many people are proud members of. Just because your cause is just & pure doesn't excuse you from updating your contact information.

    It started when my roommate at the time donated some time & money to them. After he moved out, people from this group continued to call my phone number. At first I told them he had moved, & to update their records. A few months later, I became curt, & insisted they stop calling my number. A few more months after this, I became abusive: I suspect the last person who called that number was in tears. I had nothing to lose, & figured maybe by doing this someone would flag the number as "do not call -- not a nice person".

    I found it much easier to get a collections agency to stop calling me trying to find someone who had the same last name as me & collect from him. (Poor guy defaulted on a student loan.) That was a headache, & they required that I send them a written letter stating I did not know the person, nor did I have any connection with to him.

    •  Tell you what (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch, Creosote, Justus

      It annoys the shit out of me when some group calls me, using a name I have not used in 30 DAMNED YEARS, even though in the intervening time I have told their phone people repeatedly I no longer answer to that name and they never actually remove it. I think they farm calls out to a  contractor that doesn't have the ability to change database info.

      •  Mispronounced or wrong names is another matter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justus

        If the caller can't pronounce my name correctly, I simply tell them there's no one by that name here & hang up. By which I mean my legal name, not "Llywrch" -- which no one AFAIK can pronounce, not even me. My legal name is spelled in a slightly unusual way, which throws a surprising number of people.

        Since my conflict with the political group, I've not had someone call me more than twice when I told the telemarketer "No one here by that name." Then again, we rarely answer the land line.

  •  Any advice for those of us phone-banking now? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not in a swing state, and I'm only calling registered Dems for my county party's GOTV effort, but many people are still annoyed by the interruption.

    I am never comfortable with the scripts provided. They're way too chatty and seem to assume that the voter is just sitting by the phone hoping it will ring. I don't think the authors understand how badly telemarketing has jaded our audience.

    The script recommends that we say, "Hello, is this [First Name]? Before we identify ourselves. I believe this inquiry puts people into a defensive/resistant posture from the outset.

    Instead, I always say, "Hello, this call is for [Name], and allow them to confirm, deny, or ask "who's calling please". If they say "speaking" they have subconsciously agreed to enter into the conversation with me.

    I then introduce myself by first name and as a volunteer from my local city Dem club, rather than the county party organization. It's true in my case, and now I've created and "identity" for myself with my first name, Party affiliation and geographic affiliation... I'm still a stranger on the phone, but not a complete stranger.

    After I deliver the opener about "close local races" and "we need every democrat to vote in November", I inquire if the've voted by mail already. If yes, I praise them for being the most dependable kind of voter - if not, I rattle off our list of endorsements.

    Here's where I'm having trouble:

    The phone script asks us to inquire about the voter's intention to support our candidates & endorsements. But at this point, they've heard me out, and they want to get back to cooking dinner or whatever.

    How do I courteously keep the conversation going when the other party is saying "thank you for calling..."?

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 04:03:05 PM PDT

    •  like i mentioned (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jjohnjj, kate mckinnon

      i have had more than a few people ask me angrily if the calls I do are political.  

      The biggest obstacle in your script is the open. I am legally required to state my name, my company and tell them I'm on a recorded line (quality assurance purposes. they want to make sure I don't register people that aren't interested and they make sure I hit my points). Once you get past this it increases your likelihood of the person wanting to talk to you.

      I have to stick to script as close as possible.  I change a few words around to what makes me comfortable though.  Smiling really does make you sound different, so does sitting up.  I also find myself speaking differently based on who I'm talking to.  It's a fine line with older people. They may not hear well, but if they think you are yelling, it's over.  I use a deeper voice (I'm a male by the way) when I speak to women.  For some reason I'm more successful with this.  It just really depends on your own voice and inflection.  Our most successful person on my floor is a female with a thick southern accent. People trust Southerners I guess.

      Instead of saying "is this Jane" can you say, "Hello may I speak with Jane please?" Instead of questioning who the person is, you are no requesting an audience.

      Every call is different. I'm not sure how much you are allowed to venture off script.  I use judgement calls once I've got a registration and confirmed what I need to confirm and can tell the person is losing interest, but I still have things I am supposed to mention.  

      You could try, if allowed, "Before I let you get back to your family/day/whatever I wanted to ask you if you were planning on voting for xyz?"  

      My scripts go from 3 minutes if they registration is in a rush to an average of 5 minutes. Longer if the other person asks a lot of questions or is real chatty.

    •  I make similar calls (0+ / 0-)

      For OFA. I try to ask the support question FIRST, and only proceed to the GOTV portion if they support the candidate. That way you get the response you need and if they're supportive, hopefully they will keep listening.

      "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

      by foreverblue on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 07:49:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  can you offer any advice? (0+ / 0-)

    I get a fair number of calls for my father, who has dementia and mobility problems. He's usually sitting right there when I answer the telephone, and I CAN'T say Please don't call back, he won't understand your questions, because he WILL understand that. Advice?

    It's not about the hundred people whose minds you can't change. It's about the two people you empower. ~ Beth Ditto

    by dejavu on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 05:21:06 PM PDT

    •  i don't offer products in my (0+ / 0-)

      gig, i book people to appear at conferences.  i put people down as not interested if they say that they or the person answering says they are disabled.  

      of course that wouldn't necessarily work with the guy that wants to "put a free home security sign" up in his yard.  

      I have only, as best as I can tell, registered people that seem to be fully functional and coherent.

      of course you want to discourage the telemarketer without upsetting your father, is that correct?  

      ways to get me to stop calling with no rebuttals and not giving away that you are turning away a call from another person:

      I no longer live in that area (this only really works with my specific gig i think)

      he died (i call 1-2 "dead people" a day), but you may not want to use that because of karma

      you could claim to be the person and then go through the not interested spiel..

      say he's in the hospital (see "he died")

      currently under contract with competition (depends on caller)

      ask if you are trying to reach "jr" or "sr". then whichever they say, tell them it's the wrong number.

      he's out of town.

      the options on my software are:
      registered sale
      wrong number
      answering machine
      do not call
      not interested
      call back tomorrow
      custom call back
      out of area
      disconnected

      we do wrong number for deaths
      we do out of area for hospitals

      something like what you are asking will kind of depend on what the purpose of the call is i suppose.  and of course there are certainly people that will keep calling back no matter what.  but from my experience (at least in my company) it does us no good to continue to call people over and over that are not interested.

  •  Great diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kate mckinnon

    Can I offer some advice on responding to political calls, as an OFA phone banker?

    Don't hang up right away or simply say "not interested". I check off both of these as "not home". My reasoning is that the call could have dropped or the person could be busy. If you don't want to be called again, politely ask to not be called again.

    The worst thing (aside from being really rude), is to answer the phone, say "I'm voting for Obama, don't waste your time" and then hang up. I'm usually asking for something else, such as a commitment to vote or volunteer; even if the answer is "no", having this data really helps the campaign. In addition, getting accurate information reduces the likelihood that you'll be called again. Our scripts weed out definite supporters so they don't hear the whole persuasion spiel, and if I get through the script, I never feel like I'm wasting their time. Besides, I enjoy talking to Obama supporters and I like knowing that they appreciate what I'm doing. That's what gets me through the difficult calls.

    "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

    by foreverblue on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:01:04 PM PDT

  •  Great diary! (0+ / 0-)

    Can I offer some advice on responding to political calls, as an OFA phone banker?

    Don't hang up right away or simply say "not interested". I check off both of these as "not home". My reasoning is that the call could have dropped or the person could be busy. If you don't want to be called again, politely ask to not be called again.

    The worst thing (aside from being really rude), is to answer the phone, say "I'm voting for Obama, don't waste your time" and then hang up. I'm usually asking for something else, such as a commitment to vote or volunteer; even if the answer is "no", having this data really helps the campaign. In addition, getting accurate information reduces the likelihood that you'll be called again. Our scripts weed out definite supporters so they don't hear the whole persuasion spiel, and if I get through the script, I never feel like I'm wasting their time. Besides, I enjoy talking to Obama supporters and I like knowing that they appreciate what I'm doing. That's what gets me through the difficult calls.

    "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

    by foreverblue on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:01:20 PM PDT

  •  It's been so long since I worked a phone (0+ / 0-)

    I quit answering unknown calls on my cell because of bill collectors, but when they call my work I always say the same thing.

    "The answer is no. If you need a sale, hang up and call the next number. If you need to get to the bottom of your script so your supervisor will get off your back, start talking. I'll be setting the phone down. Hang up when you're through."

    They usually move on to the next.

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